The Art of Driving

I have been reading this book called Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters. Juxtaposing past and present with equal ferocity, I feel myself being yanked back and forth into time periods that we never can in real life. That’s why we love reading so much. The tenacity of knowing that we can cling to illusion and pretend it’s real.It rained yesterday in Bangalore. Sweeping torrents. I joke. A drizzle can be a flood in this city of potholes, potbellies and potpourri. I drive these days with something approaching serenity. I don’t have to do anything or be anything except drive. People will honk. Push you off the lane. Ok. There are no lanes in Bangalore. They push you off whatever side of the road you are on. Pedestrians will either jump in front of you or sedately walk in front of you, wishing, hoping or praying or just plain dumbing their way across the road. Policemen regulate the chaos into infernal chaos. And there I am. Music on my Ipod and all the thoughts of work and off-work and friends and ex-friends and family and the World Cup and Indian cricket and life and love and movies all swirling around in my head. Honk honk. The occasional glare. The threatening look. The smirk. I absorb it all. And realize just why people from the West consider India the land of spirituality. You have to a saint or a sinner in this country. And when you sin, you sin. And then you pretend to be a saint.

And so I meditate.

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